Jobs for college students to learn about rental properties

6 Replies

I am a full time college student and I am planning on graduating next April with a degree in accounting. I am extremely interesting in learning about real estate investing, specifically multi unit properties, house hacking, and eventually would like to transition into commercial real estate.

I am looking for a good part time job that I could learn all about what I mentioned above. I have heard that an Assistant Property Manager might be good, but I want to confirm on what would be best for my goals.

Thanks in advance!

Jayden, it's great that you are looking to learn more about RE and working in a Property Management company would be a great way to start. However, like Eric said, it's not going to be a "great" job. You are probably looking at an admin-type position coming straight out of school. What you could do is get yourself an normal accounting job and continue to learn about RE through books/podcasts/etc. Start to pull in good W2 income so banks will love you, and then get yourself a duplex to house hack or just buy a SFH to "learn" how to be an Investor. Real Estate is a get rich slow plan, you're likely not going to be the 0.1% of young investors you hear on podcasts that "went from 0 to 48 units in 6 months!" Just be patient, especially in this market, and you'll be up and running soon. Good luck!

@Jayden Espinosa

This was definitely how I felt several years ago when I graduated. I would definitely not recommend going and working for a property management company to start when you're comparing salaries to being an accountant. Getting the accountant experience on your resume will make it easier as a contingency plan to fall back on with a quality salary if something ever happens in your future.

If you're still wanting to gain real estate experience, I would definitely leverage the abundance of information here and potentially look at getting a real estate license to just gain more experience about markets and the process of real estate when you're not needing for it to make a meaningful amount of money right off the bat. It'll also help you keep networking in your area.

Once you build up enough savings you can then look to getting a house to house hack and further your experience as a landlord.

The biggest things are to give yourself time to learn and not let FOMO drive you, proper real estate investing is a marathon and not a sprint.

Also @Jayden Espinosa

Congrats to you for your ambition! If you are looking to connect with someone for some guidance or advice, feel free to reach out. I also recommend you read this article I wrote for Bigger Pockets titled How to Invest in Real Estate Before Turning 21. Even if you're already 21 or older, it has some great advice for getting started. Once you've read it, let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions. I am a high school teacher in Colorado and I am always looking to help young people get started in real estate investing or help in any way I can. Let me know if you want to chat sometime.

@Jayden Espinosa , I am assuming many of the above have limited experience with property management companies.  I got a well paying starting job as an analyst with the capital raising team of a property management company.  The company owned 230 grocery anchored shopping centers and was raising their 2nd institutional fund, with a target raise of $500m of equity.  

It depends on what your goals are.  Do you want to be a one man show buying and managing your own portfolio of properties?  Do you want to learn from people that have $250mm+ net worths (the two principals at a prior employer) and a 200+ person organization under them, where the executives are making near $1mm/yr?  If the latter, than working for a management company is not bad, but it does have to be the right role in the right company.  

What I took away from that first role, accounting, generally gets pigeon holed in that role, if you stay there too long. You get very limited view of how the company works.  I love the investor relations side (my analyst role back then).  I got to interface with every department: leasing, property management, accounting, finance, acquisitions, due diligence, etc.  And while I wasn't doing the work, I got a good understanding of what was entailed at a high level, because investors will ask about it.  That experience helped me better assess and operate my own single family and small multifamily deals.

Other roles to look at: the major brokerages, like CBRE have many roles from property management, to asset management, finance, brokerage, marketing, accounting, etc.  REITs are the same way.  You are working for the management company, but you are not a property manager.